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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Kent Rasmussen <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:32:41 -0700
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Today, Kevin Mac Donnell and I discussed the dedications Sam Clemens 
wrote for his books. When he mentioned that Sam’s daughter Jean was the 
only family member to whom Sam never dedicated a book, I immediately 
checked the entry on “dedications” I had written for _Critical Companion 
to Mark Twain (the revised edition of _Mark Twain A to Z_).  I was 
pleased to be able to one-up Kevin by telling him my book said that Sam 
dedicated _Tom Sawyer Abroad_ to Jean. That didn’t sound quite right to 
Kevin, so we both ran to our various early editions of TSA to confirm 
what I had written. Result: Neither of us could find any dedication in 
any early copy of TSA. Oops ... that was embarrassing; maybe I should 
have kept my mouth shut. I then did what any scholar who finds an error 
in one of his books would do: I looked for someone else to blame. 
Happily, I found at least a partial explanation of my apparent error in 
the 1982 University of California “Mark Twain Library” edition of the 
novella, in which these words face page 1:

Jean Clemens
with the affectionate admiration
of her Papa

Where, I wondered did that come from? It’s not in the 1980 
Iowa-California omnibus edition of Tom Sawyer books, which like the 
later Mark Twain Library edition of TSA was edited by John C. Gerber. 
Gerber’s explanatory note on page 178 and Robert Hirst’s note on texts 
on page 193 of the latter edition provide the answer. Sam wrote the 
dedication for the book but didn’t get it to his publishers in time to 
be used. In a letter to Livy of April 16, 1894, he explained that his 
failure was due to both Webster’s and Chatto’s editions coming out much 
sooner than he had expected. He added that he had instructed Websterco’s 
president, Frederick Hall, “to see to it that the second edition 
contains it [the dedication].” Unfortunately, Websterco went bust before 
a second edition of TSA could be made. Sam’s instruction to Hall was 
then apparently forgotten until his letter to Livy was noticed around 
1981, in time for the Mark Twain Library edition.

My reason for posting this note is to ask if anyone has ever seen the 
dedication to Jean in _any_ edition of TSA published before 1982. 
Meanwhile, I’ll ponder the question of whether what I wrote for 
_Critical Companion_ is correct or incorrect. Rather than open that 
issue to public debate, I’ll restrict the voting to myself.